Revenue clearance data just published show a 4.5% drop in takings between January and September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
With pubs being responsible for 63% of beer sales it’s unsurprising that official Revenue figures show beer sales volumes to have been hardest hit. Between January and September consumption fell by nearly 15% compared to 2019 and in Q3 alone, which covers July to September, beer consumption was down by 17.2%.
Net excise receipts for beer over the nine-month period to the end of September were down 12% to €272 million according to the provisional figures.
Cider consumption volumes too fell by 9.6% between January and September 2020 and by 14.1% in Q3.
Net excise receipts for cider over the nine-month period to the end of September were down 9% to €40.7 million.
Perhaps also reflecting the fact that nearly 70% of spirits sales are via the off-trade, spirits volumes showed but a slight drop of 1.3% over the nine-month period, but recording a drop of 4.4% between July and September.
Nevertheless, net excise receipts for spirits over the nine-month period to the end of September were very slightly up from €255 million to €255.4 million according to provisional figures.
Again, unsurprisingly, wine sales from January to October were up by 13% since over 80% of wines are sold via the off-trade. Net excise receipts for wine showed growth of 12% to €305 million to the end of Q3.
None of these gains proved enough to offset the overall loss in alcohol consumption over the nine-month period, however.
“The new Revenue data confirms that alcohol consumption fell between Q1 and Q3 as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, despite some suggestions to the contrary,” points out Drinks Ireland Director Patricia Callan, “This was as a result of pubs, restaurants and hotels being closed for periods of time, or having to operate when they were open with restrictions in place.”